Alan Pardew says Christian Benteke dived for Liverpool penalty

Penalty decision tough to take - Alan Pardew

Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew accused Christian Benteke of diving to win the penalty that gave Liverpool a 2-1 win at Selhurst Park on Sunday.

Benteke went down under a challenge from Damien Delaney in injury time at the end of the Premier League match.

"That touch doesn't warrant that dive," Pardew said. "If that touch warrants a collapse like that, then wow."

Benteke took the resulting spot-kick to give the Reds a victory that moved them up to sixth, six points off fourth.

Delaney's right knee caught Benteke's right foot
Delaney's right knee caught Benteke's right foot

Pardew said referee Andre Marriner would not have awarded the penalty had it not been for a linesman's intervention.

"It's the dive that makes the linesman's mind up," the Eagles boss added. "The linesman assumes that little touch is a penalty."

Pardew was clearly distraught at the conclusion, throwing his coat down in disgust as his side made it 12 Premier League games without a win.

"You've got to be 100% sure," the former Newcastle United, West Ham and Southampton manager said. "In super slow motion, the knee touches the foot and he goes over like he's been shot."

He also felt his side would not have been given the penalty had it been a Palace player going down inside the box.

"If it had been us, we would not have got it," Pardew said.

"He's certainly made a big meal of it. Damien pulls out, the follow-through of his knee gets it. That's tough."

Delaney said he did not touch Benteke.

"I can honestly say I didn't make contact with Benteke today and IF there was slight contact I didn't impede him and certainly didn't feel there was enough to award a penalty," he wrote on Instagram.

"I waited over an hour to speak with the officials and in fairness to Andre Marriner he said he didn't think it was a penalty but he trusted his linesman that much he awarded it."

Delaney said there was "no way" the linesman could have been "100% sure".

"I looked at it afterwards and he is flagging before he has even hit the ground," said the Palace defender. "It looked like he could not wait to give it. It looked like he wanted to give it."

Delaney said he would like to see a "crackdown" on diving, but Benteke and Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said the decision was correct.

Jurgen Klopp praises Liverpool's passion

"I believe he touched me, otherwise I don't go down," former Aston Villa striker Benteke said.

Klopp added: "If you run and you get this touch, you fall down. In my opinion, there was more than enough of a touch.

"I feel sorry for Palace, but I have just seen the replay in the dressing room and it was a clear penalty.

"If there was no contact, Benteke would have been in a great position to shoot. He made the move and forced the situation."

The Eagles led 1-0 thanks to Joe Ledley's strike just after half-time.

Liverpool, who went down to 10 men on 62 minutes when James Milner was sent off for a second yellow card, levelled through Roberto Firmino on 72 minutes before Benteke scored the winner from the spot.

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